A Beautiful Mind (2001)

PG-13   |    |  Biography, Drama


A Beautiful Mind (2001) Poster

After John Nash, a brilliant but asocial mathematician, accepts secret work in cryptography, his life takes a turn for the nightmarish.

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8.2/10
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  • Jennifer Connelly at an event for A Beautiful Mind (2001)
  • Ron Howard in A Beautiful Mind (2001)
  • Josh Lucas in A Beautiful Mind (2001)
  • Ron Howard in A Beautiful Mind (2001)
  • Jennifer Connelly at an event for A Beautiful Mind (2001)
  • Russell Crowe in A Beautiful Mind (2001)

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5 April 2009 | Spikeopath
8
| John Nash, schizophrenic genius.
John Nash is something of a mathematical wizard. Constantly searching for something with which to make his name, he finds his calling by code breaking for the government. But with that comes a sense of paranoia and pretty soon John is sliding desperately into schizophrenia.

There is a school of thought that says any decent film about the mentally ill or afflicted is a sure fire way to attract the awards givers. Personally it bothers me that it bothers me that people view these films in this demeaning manner. If a story is worth telling then lets get it out there for all to see. Would the cinema world and all those stuffy film lovers really be happy if film makers didn't tell these remarkable stories? A Beautiful Mind is one such picture that divides opinions, although exemplary made and well put together, it doesn't adhere quite to the facts of Nash's life-it's an interpretation that smooths out the drama by way of delivering a safe and watchable biography. It was nominated for eight Academy Awards, winning four for Best Film, Best Director {Ron Howard}, Best Supporting Actress {Jennifer Connelly} and Best Adapted Screenplay {Akiva Goldsman adapting from the book by Sylvia Nash}. Yet as great as that roll call is, the big surprise is the omission of a win for Russell Crowe in the Best Actor category. For as tidy and engrossing as the film is, and it is folks, it's because of the big Kiwi that the film breaks free of your standard emotional heart tugger. It's a superlative performance from Crowe and him not winning is probably more to do with his much publicised dust up at the BAFTAS a few weeks before the Oscar ceremony: than his undoubted acting ability.

The film as a whole should not be viewed as a representation of John Nash's life, many important things from Sylvia Nash's book have been omitted. But crucially it's important to note that in making this film, the makers have brought Nobel Prize winner Nash to the public's attention, whilst simultaneously giving awareness to the sadness of those suffering with schizophrenia. OK, so it's far from perfect in its portrayal of Nash the man, but ultimately the cinematic world is a far better place when the likes of A Beautiful Mind are being made and the film lovers are flocking to see it. And then some. 8/10

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